Funding

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs marked up its FY 2011 appropriations bill yesterday afternoon, providing $635 million for Department of State educational and cultural exchanges. This funding level constitutes a $1.8 million increase from the President’s FY 2011 request of $633.2 million and matches the FY 2010 enacted level of $635 million.

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After much budgetary uncertainty on Capitol Hill, action is finally expected this week on the FY 2011 budget. The House State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee will mark up its FY 2011 spending bill on Wednesday, June 30, at 4:00 p.m. The Senate State-Foreign Ops subcommittee is expected to act on its own spending bill just after the July 4th recess.

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The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) reports that “after several weeks of budgetary limbo on Capitol Hill, action is expected” this week on the FY 2011 budget. The impending budget developments include:

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Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, spoke yesterday at the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) about the importance of ensuring sustained funding for the Foreign Service and other “civilian elements” of the U.S. national security strategy.

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While the timeline for the markup and passage of FY 2011 appropriations bills remains uncertain, the Obama administration released two memos last week “setting guidelines for departments and agencies on their FY 2012 budget requests,” the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition reported. The memos underscore a “growing focus on reducing spending and the deficit”:

Earlier this week, the Alliance sent out a call to contact your Senators and urge them to support full funding of the President’s $58.8 billion FY 2011 International Affairs Budget request. According to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, only 12 Senators have signed the bipartisan letter in support of full funding for the IR budget [new signers to date: Akaka (D-HI), Cardin (D-MD), Casey (D-PA), Collins (R-ME), Gillibrand (D-NY), Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Shaheen (D-NH)].

The Alliance supports the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s call to contact your Senators and urge them to support full funding of the President’s $58.8 billion FY 2011 International Affairs Budget request.

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Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) has joined the roster of the House State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Subcommittee (which funds State Department exchange programs), filling a vacancy created by the departure of Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), who takes a seat on the Interior and Environment Subcommittee. This change came last Wednesday when the House Democratic Caucus adopted membership changes in Appropriations Subcommittee assignments. 

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Eight former Secretaries of State wrote Congress yesterday to urge support for the President’s $58.5 billion FY 2011 international affairs budget request, Politico and Foreign Policy both report.

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On the heels of yesterday’s Policy Monitor item regarding broad Congressional support for a robust international affairs budget in FY 2011, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) reports that Senate Budget Committee Chair Kent Conrad (D-ND) cut President Obama’s FY 11 international affairs budget request by $4 billion, or 7 per cent.

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